Saturday, 26 September 2015

India's quest for a permanent UNSC seat

India has been demanding a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council since long. We have a population of 1250 million, while England with 62 million and France with 66 million have permanent seats. So our demand seems to be justified.

 But the truth is that we will not be given a permanent seat for many many years, however much we may shout and scream about it. Why ?

Some say that it is because of China. Others attribute it to Pakistan. The truth however is something else.

 The truth is that as long as we are a poor nation we will never be given a permanent seat in the U.N. Security.

 The way of the world is that the poor are never given respect. Does anyone give respect to a beggar ? The poor are only kicked around in the world, and as long as we remain poor we will be kicked around by the world community.

 The truth is that Westerners look down on Indians, not because the colour of our skin is black or brown, but because our country is poor. Of course the Westerners are too sophisticated, and so will not say so openly, but their conduct reveals it.

 When China and Japan were poor countries, their people were called 'yellow races ' by the Westerners. Today China and Japan are highly industrialized, powerful nations, and now nobody dares to call them that.

 So if we want respect in the world community and a permanent seat in the UNSC, we have to make India a powerful, highly industrialized and highly prosperous country with its people enjoying a high standard of living.. All patriotic people must think out ways and means of achieving that end.

Appeal to non Hindus to keep one day fast during Navratra.

Although I am an atheist, I respect people of all religions, and have always strongly supported freedom of religion.

  When I was in California, U.S. A. ( I was in North America from January to July, 2015 ) the Ramzan month commenced.

 I have been keeping one day fast during Ramzan for several years, so this year also I decided to keep it. I informed some Hindus settled in USA  about my decision. They said that they would also keep one day fast during Ramzan, and asked me to fix the date. I fixed 4th July as it was a Saturday and so a non working day, and was also the American Independence Day, and I put up a facebook post requesting non Muslims all over the world to keep one day fast on that date, as a mark of our respect and solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters.

 These Hindus informed Shaista Ali, wife of Syed Ali, President and CEO of Cavium, a multi billion dollar company in the Silicon Valley with branches all over the world, about my decision. Shaistaji, telephoned me and requested that the iftaar on 4th July should be held at her residence, to which I agreed.

Since sehri had to be by 4.13 a.m. ( for Shias ) on that day ( 4.36 a.m. for Sunnis ) my Hindu friends.and I got up at 3.30 a.m. and quickly had some eggs, milk, bread and water, and thereafter till 8.35 p.m. we ate and drank nothing. An excellent iftaar and dinner was served at Shaistaji's house which is on a hill in Saratoga.

 Now navratra is beginning on 13th Octobwer, and will go on till the 23rd ( the calender is given below ).

 I appeal to all non Hindus all over the world, and especially in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh to keep one day fast during navratra. They may consult some Hindu friend about what can be eaten on that day and when. This will be just as a token of respect and solidarity with their Hindu brothers and sisters, and not that they will be converted to Hinduism

Taslima Nasreen is brave but stupid

 In my reply to a comment on one of my earlier posts I called Taslima Nasreen brave but stupid. Some people have asked me to explain.

I regard her as brave because she bravely spoke out against atrocities on Hindus in Bangladesh in her novel 'Lajja '.I am opposed to atrocities on anyone, whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, etc
 However I also call her stupid because she attacks religion without understanding the social conditions which give rise to it.

 Like Taslima, I too am an atheist, and I too believe that all religions are superstitions.. But unlike her, I understand that there are certain social conditions which give rise to religion, e.g. lack of scientific understanding of the objective world, poverty, exploitation, and the chance factor in our lives. Without eliminating these conditions an attempt to suppress religion forcibly will only make people more fanatic and bigoted.

 Religion first arose everywhere due to men's ignorance about nature. Almost all gods everywhere were initially nature gods, e.g the Vedic gods Indra, Agni, Surya, etc or the Greek and Roman Gods, Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, Poseidon, etc.These were personification of natural forces which could benefit man or harm him. For instance, if there is timely rain the agricultural crop would be good, but if there was drought, there would be famine. So men conceived of a rain god, Indra, who had to be propitiated to please him and avoid his wrath.

 Much later the concept of one god alone arose in the Jewish religion and Islam, where God represented the Perfect Man, who did not have the failings of the ordinary man e.g. he never fell sick, was never born and will never die, and is all powerful, etc

 Why do people need religion even today ?

 The poor people, who comprise 75-80% of all people, need religion as a psychological support, because their lives are so miserable that they would go mad if they did not have religion as a consoler and a balm ( some call it an opium ).

 The affluent too need religion because while they are rich today, they may become poor tomorrow. Prosperous businessmen today may become bankrupt in the future ( due to various causes ). Employees may lose their jobs.The chance factor is so powerful today that we cannot control our own lives, and so we believe that some supernatural entity is controlling our lives, which must be propitiated. This is also why people believe in astrology, palmistry, etc which are all superstitions and humbug.

 It is true that today the chance factor is very powerful in our lives. We plan something, but something else happens. But this is due to the low level of development of science as of yet in the world as compared to what it will be 100 or 200 years hence.  Science would then have developed so much that we will be able to control our lives, and then there will be no need of religion.

 100 years hence or so there will be no poverty among humans, because modern industry is so powerful and so big that enough wealth can be generated by it to give a decent life to everyone in the world.

 So instead of directly attacking religion, as Taslima does, i attack the social conditions which give rise to it, while upholding everyone's freedom to practise his/her religion

Friday, 25 September 2015

My vision of the future

Often people have accused me of being negative, of criticizing everyone and everything, while proposing no positive alternative. So let me state my positive ideas :

As I have repeatedly said, a crisis is building up in India, due to massive poverty, unemployment, malnourishment, lack of healthcare and good education, price rise, etc and there seems to be no solution to our problems within the present system. All our state institutions--Parliament, the executive, the judiciary, etc seem to have collapsed and become hollow and empty shells, and so the solution to our problems lie outside the system, which means a revolution. But what will be done after this revolution ? Let me present my broad outlines

 1. We must have political leaders who are genuinely patriotic and who work for the welfare of the people

 These leaders will be men( and women ) who have no special privileges, no secret foreign bank accounts. They will be men and women of the highest integrity, for without that they would be like most of our present politicians, who indulge in empty talk about helping the poor but instead amass fortunes for themselves or their families.

One of my ideals for such leaders is Robespierre, the great leader in the French Revolution of 1789 ( see my blog 'Robespierre 'on my blog ' )

Nobody ever questioned Robespierre's personal integrity, whereas the financial integrity of some of his colleagues in the Revolution like Danton was always suspect. Robespierre never benefited personally in any way by being one of the leaders of the French Revolution. When he died he left behind him hardly any assets.

 His secretary, Pierre Villiers, has written in his Memoirs " Several times I have known him to refuse offers of money that required from him no return, not even thanks, and if sometimes I allowed myself to insist on his accepting, he abused me " .

People will accept the leadership of such leaders if the leaders suffer the same privations which the ordinary people are suffering. People will accept sufferings if they know that their leaders are suffering personally the same way as themselves, eating the same simple food, and living the same kind of difficult lives which they are enduring.

Who will be these leaders and where will they come from I do not know. But surely despite all the corruption, selfishness, low ethics, and stupidity all around us today there are some patriotic, modern minded  and honest people among us

2. These leaders must set up a 4 year or 5 year national scientific plan for reconstructing the economy and raising the standard of living of the masses. This must of course be done with the help of top level scientists, engineers and managers. The plan will include setting up thousands of industries, high standard educational institutions, technical institutes and healthcare centres free of cost for the masses all over India. Where will the capital for this come from ? The biggest capital is the power of organizing the masses. The masses will voluntarily and enthusiastically give their labour once they realize that their leaders are dedicated people who genuinely wish to abolish poverty, unemployment, etc and are aiming at raising the standard of living of the masses.

 Private enterprize will have a place in this plan, for individual initiative will be needed, but it will have a subordinate role, and cannot be allowed to override the welfare of the masses

3. But if thousands of industries are set up how will the goods they manufacture be sold ? At present people are too poor and do not have the purchasing power. So we will have to raise the purchasing power of the masses. How will that be done ?

 It will be done in this way : the government will fix the prices of most commodities, and then steadily reduce their prices, say by 5-10% every 2 years or so. In this way the worker will be able to steadily buy more goods with the same wage because prices are falling, and so his real wage is going up ( wages are relative to the price index ). In this way the market will keep steadily expanding, and simultaneously industrial ( and agricultural ) production can be stepped up, and the increased goods produced will be absorbed in the indigenous market, instead of there being  overproduction and a glut.

 We have to mainly depend on our own indigenous market for stability, because dependence on foreign markets is very precarious, as they may be cut off by some other country, or there may be a recession in the country to which we sell our goods, causing our own export industries to close down. No doubt we must have some exports ( to earn foreign exchange for buying some machinery which may not be produced indigenously, and which may be required for our plans,), but that should be much less than supplying our domestic market.

4. Simultaneously with fulfilling the national plan, a powerful cultural drive must be launched by our leaders to combat feudal and backward ideas and practices such as casteism, communalism and superstitions, and spread scientific and rational ideas to every nook and corner of the country. This requires a great deal of patient persuasion over a long period, maybe decades, because it is more difficult to change the minds of people than change physical things. At present most of our people are steeped in casteism, communalism and superstitions which they have inherited over the centuries. To change their minds and habits of thinking is an enormous task. I have often said that 90% of our people are fools. That was of course not to denigrate or demoralize them, but to state harsh realities. It is the patriotic duty of the 10% enlightened section of our countrymen to patiently educate the 90%, spread scientific ideas among the masses, and uplift their mental level so that they too become part of enlightened India.

 These are only my broad general ideas, and I do not claim that they are perfect. I welcome any criticism, provided it is in polite language

Monday, 21 September 2015

The Truth about Bose

Those who have been offended by my comments on Subhas Chandra Bose should consider just one simple matter :

The Japanese armed forces came all the way from Japan to Singapore and Burma, and were fighting the British on the border of Burma and India ( using the INA ).

 Did they do so to have a picnic, or to conquer the countries of East and South Asia and turn them into their colonies, that is, as  markets and sources of raw materials for the growing Japanese industry ?

 If the latter is accepted, and it must be accepted if we have even a little brains, then why would Japan have given independence to India if they had defeated the British, rather than turning it into a Japanese colony ?

 It is obvious that the Japanese fascist imperialists were using Bose and the INA for their own imperial purpose of conquering India and turning it into a Japanese colony.

 Had they defeated the British, the Japanese would either have bumped off Bose, as his utility would have been over for them, or made him as a puppet ' Head of State ', the way they made the last Chinese Emperor, Pu Yi, ' Head of Manchukuo '.

The INA was fighting with Japanese weapons. If the Japanese design ( of making India their colony ) had been opposed by Bose, they had simply to cut off arms supply to the INA and that would have been an end to it.

 Bose knew of the Japanese atrocities in the Andaman Islands, but he never protested against it to the Japanese, knowing he could not afford to annoy his masters

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Tamil in Madras High Court

I received a telephone call a short while back from a Tamilian lawyer in Chennai practising in the Madras High Court. He told me that the High Court lawyers in both benches of the Madras High Court, in Chennai and in Madurai,  are agitating for quite some time demanding that Tamil should be allowed in proceedings before the High Court. Some lawyers are on hunger strike, some have been arrested for disturbing proceedings in the Courts, and others are agitating in other ways.

 I believe that the demand of the lawyers is totally justified.

 In this connection I may refer to Article 348 (2) of the Indian Constitution which says :

" (2) Notwithstanding anything in sub-clause (a) of clause (1), the Governor of a State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorise the use of the Hindi language, or any other language used for any official purposes of the State, in proceedings in the High Court having its principal seat in that State:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to any judgment, decree or order passed or made by such High Court. "

Pursuant to this Constitutional provision, the Official Languages Act, 1963 was enacted by Parliament, section 7 of which states :

" As from the appointed day or any day thereafter, the Governor of a State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorise the use of Hindi or the official language of the State, in addition to the English language, for the purpose of any judgment, decree or order passed or made by the High court for that State,  and where any judgment, decree or order is passed or made in any such language (other than the English language), it shall be accompanied by a translation of the same in the English language issued under the authority of the High Court. "

 Under these provisions  the states of U.P. Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have permitted use of Hindi in Court proceedings and also for passing orders and judgments in the High Court. I myself used to speak often in Hindi in the Allahabad High Court, both as a lawyer and as a Judge.. There are some lawyers like Pt. Daya Shankar Mishra, a senior lawyer in the Allahabad High Court, who argue only in Hindi, and some Judges like late Justice P.S. Gupta who used to encourage lawyers to argue in Hindi, and used to pass judgments in Hindi.

 Why then  should other languages like Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi, Kannada, Malayalam,  Gujrati, Kashmiri, Marathi, Telugu, Oriya, Assamese  etc not be allowed in Court proceedings in the High Courts ? All languages in our country are equal, and need to be developed.So I fully support the demand of the Tamil lawyers.

 However, this should be subject to the following conditions :

(1) A lawyer should have the option to argue in Tamil or in English

(2) Some Judges come from other states who do not know Tamil. This category. would include the Chief Justice, because the policy is that the Chief Justice of the High Court must be from another state. Arguments before such Judges should be in English, otherwise he would not understand it.

(3) While judgments and orders by Judges should be permitted to be passed in Tamil, preferably they should be in English. This is because judgments of a particular High Court are often cited in other High Courts too. Although they are not binding in other High Courts, they have persuasive value. So unless they are in English, they may not be understood.

I am coming to Chennai to attend a function for release of a book on Mediation by senior lawyer, Mr. Sriram Panchu on 7th October, and intend to stay in Chennai for a few days. During that period I shall seek an appointment with the Chief Minister and Chief Justice and ask them to do the needful to permit use of Tamil in the Madras High Court.

 In the meantime I appeal to the lawyers to suspend their agitation for a while. I will personally take up their cause with the concerned authorities.

 I had been the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court ( from 2004 to 2005 ) and Tamilians gave me great respect and love. So even after I left the Court ( to take over as Chief Justice of Delhi High Court ), I have been trying to help the High Court even thereafter in whatever way I could

How did India get independence ?

Independence in 1947 had nothing to do with Gandhi or Bose. It was because in the Second World War Germany attacked England, and may possibly have conquered it but for American aid. And the Americans extracted their price, by pressurizing the British to give independence to India, so that the Indian market may be opened up for American investments too, and the raw materials in India may be available to U.S. industries too, instead of being monopolized by the British. This is the real meaning of 1947

Friday, 18 September 2015

To Bengalis

Many Bengalis, perceiving me as anti-Bengali,  have made several abusive comments against me because of my views on Subhas Chandra Bose and Tagore. This has deeply hurt  me. So I am writing this post mainly for them.

 I am not, and I never was anti-Bengali. I am a great admirer of the really great men Bengal produced, and their outstanding contribution to our nation in literature, science, philosophy, social reforms, etc. But I refuse to recognize as great those phony people like Bose and Tagore whom many of you foolishly idolize.

 How many of you Bengalis have even heard of Debi Prosad Chattopadhyaya ( 1911- 1993 ) ? He was the greatest philosopher India has produced in modern times ( he is not to be confused with another Debi Prosad Chattopadhyaya, born in 1933, who was also a philosopher ). His books, particularly his ' What is living and what is dead in Indian  Philosophy '  and ' Lokayata ' were  seminal works and in my opinion the most outstanding books on Indian philosophy. On reading them I was wonderstruck by his clarity and profound erudition, and many things about Indian philosophy, which were earlier unclear to me, became clear.

  I am a great admirer of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, who led the way to social reforms in India, despite facing tremendous opposition by die hard conservative people who wanted to continue the inhuman practices like suttee..

 In the field of literature I have the greatest admiration for Sharad Chandra Chattopadhyaya and Kazi Nazrul Islam.

I regard the best poetry in modern India to be Urdu poetry ( how many of you have any idea of it ? ), and the best prose to be Bengali prose. And in prose literature Sharad Chandra towers over everyone in India, like a Mount Everest. In fact I regard Sharad Chandra as the greatest novelist and story writer India has produced, and indeed one of the greatest in the world.

 Sharad Chandra launched a full blooded attack against the oppressive caste system, women's oppression, and other feudal inhuman customs and practices in India.  The first of his works which I read ( half a century ago ) was ' Shrikant '., his longest novel. After beginning this novel, which some say is autobiographical, I was so mesmerized that I could not leave it until I had read all its 1000 pages. Thereafter I read his Charitraheen, Shesh Prashna, Palli Samaj, Parineeta, Biraj Bahu, Devdas, Grihadah, Vipradas  etc. What a fantastic writer, what genuine compassion for the oppressed sections of society. !

 In my opinion no writer in the world could equal Sharad Chandra's women characterization. I have read great literature of the world in which women characters are central to the theme, e.g. Tolstoy's ' Anna Karenina ', Gustave Flaubert's ' Madam Bovary ', Emily Bronte's ' Wuthering Heights ', Margaret Mitchell's ' Gone With The wind ' etc but no one could match Sharad Chandra's women characters, e.g. Rajyalakshmi, Kamal, Kiranmayi, Chandramukhi,  Sumitra, Bharati, Savitri, Rama, Bindu, Parvati, Bijaya, Shorasi etc.

  Later when Sharad Chandra wrote his ' Pather Dabi ', the British got scared and they banned it. This novel was about a revolutionary organization wanting to end British rule. After its ban the price of one copy of the novel was said to have become the same as the price of a Mauser pistol.

 Since the British became scared of Sharad Chandra's popularity they built up Tagore through Yeats, and their aim was to divert literature from the revolutionary direction .Sharad Chandra was taking it towards a harmless channel. Tagore took Bengali literature towards spiritualism and mysticism, which is nonsense in a poor country like India,.e.g. his poems Gitanjali, Klanti, Agnibeena bajao tumi kemon kore, etc. His novel Gora is meaningless. Graham Greene said that apart from Yeats no one takes Tagore seriously, and in fact later even Yeats turned against Tagore, saying that he wrote sentimental rubbish.

  Some say that Tagore was patriotic as he refused Knighthood after the Jallianwala massacre. But why did the British offer Knighthood to him at all. Why not to Sharad Chandra, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Subramania Bharati, etc ? Obviously because these persons were not serving British interests. And as for the Nobel Prize, everybody knows that the Nobel Prize in literature, like the Nobel Prize in peace, is often a joke. Of the 113 Nobel prizes in literature given so far, no one even remembers the names of over 90 of them, as they were given to undeserving persons who were serving certain vested interests. Why was the Nobel Prize not given to Sharad Chandra, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Premchand, Subramania Bharati, Faiz, Manto, etc. ?

  There are broadly two theories of art and literature, art for art's sake, and art for social purpose ( see my article ' The Role of Art and Literature on my blog ). Those who belong to the first school believe that art and literature should only aim at producing beautiful and entertaining works, but if it seeks a social purpose it ceases to be art and becomes propaganda. On the other hand, the second school believes that art and literature should serve a social purpose, and help the people by attacking oppressive social customs and practices, and inspiring them to struggle for a better life.

 Sharad Chandra belongs to the second school, and many oppressive social customs and practices in Bengal were considerably weakened because of his writings.
    In his acceptance speech delivered on 15th Sep 1933 at a gathering organized at the Calcutta Town Hall to celebrate his 57th birthday, Sharat Chandra acknowledged his debt to the poor and depraved. He said :

" My literary debt is not limited to my predecessors only. I am forever indebted to the deprived, ordinary people who give this world everything they have and yet receive nothing in return, to the weak and oppressed people whose tears nobody bothers to notice and to the endlessly hassled, distressed (weighed down by life) and helpless people who don't even have a moment to think that: despite having everything, they have the right to nothing.

They made me start to speak. They inspired me to take up their case and plead for them. I have witnessed endless injustice to these people, unfair intolerable indiscriminate justice. It is true that springs do come to this world for some - full of beauty and wealth - with its sweet smelling breeze perfumed with newly bloomed flowers and spiced with cuckoo's song, but such good things remained well outside the sphere where my sight remained imprisoned. This poverty abounds in my writings."

  I am a great admirer of the genuinely great Bengali revolutionaries. Like Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ashfaqulla, Ram Prasad Bismil etc, the Bengalis produced countless heroes who gave their lives fighting for India's freedom, e.;g. Khudiram Bose..

 My greatest hero is Surya Sen ( Masterda ), the tiger of Bengal. After the Chittagong armoury raid when he was caught he was inhumanly tortured before he was executed.  Before he was hanged, the British executioners broke all his teeth with a hammer, and pulled out all his nails. They broke all his limbs and joints. He was dragged to the rope unconscious. His last letter was written to his friends and said: “Death is knocking at my door. My mind is flying away towards eternity ...At such a pleasant, at such a grave, at such a solemn moment, what shall I leave behind you? Only one thing, that is my dream, a golden dream---the dream of Free India "

The British cruelly destroyed his body, but could not destroy his spirit.

  These are the real heroes of Bengal, not that man Subhas Chandra Bose, who while no doubt a patriot in his youth, later, due to his vaulting ambition, like Faust, sold his soul to a Mephistopheles. In fact he sold it twice, first to the Nazis, whose collaborator he tried to become by proposing to set up an army of captured Indian soldiers to fight along with the Nazis, and later to the Japanese fascist imperialists.

 In science, Bengalis have made the foremost contribution in India. . Praful Chandra Ray is often regarded as the Father of modern Indian science, but there were a host of other great Bengali scientists--Jagadish Chandra Bose, S.N. Bose ( who with Einstein created the Bose-Einstein statistics ), Meghnad Saha, etc

   There are other fields too in which Bengalis made a great contribution, and which I admire. So how can I be anti-Bengali ?

  At the same time, I refuse to admire a person just because he was Bengali. I am not an appeaser of Bengalis. I am not in politics, and I do not want your votes. I have never sought publicity or popularity ( though many people have accused me of that ). In fact I have a low opinion of those who seek publicity or popularity.

 So while I admire the truly great Bengalis, please don't expect me to admire phonies like that Japanese puppet Subhas Chandra Bose or that British stooge Tagore.
.. .

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Nothing wrong in discontinuing Indira and Rajeev stamps

While I am no admirer of the BJP government, I see nothing wrong in its decision to discontinue the postage stamps bearing the pictures of Indira Gandhi and Rajeev Gandhi.

 Indira Gandhi was a power crazy woman who was willing to go to any extent to hold on to power. She imposed a fake ' Emergency ' in 1975 because the Allahabad High Court had held her guilty of corrupt election practice. This fake ' Emergency ' resulted in great hardship to the Indian people. Tens of thousands who were critical of her were imprisoned on false charges, and many killed.

 Rajeev Gandhi got the progressive and humanitarian Shahbano decision ( that a Muslim husband who divorces his wife must give her maintenance ) legislatively annulled. He sent the Indian army to Sri Lanka for no good reason, which resulted in the death of several thousands of our soldiers. He was responsible for massacre of Sikhs in 1984
 So why should we honour such people ?

Subhas Chandra Bose sold his soul twice

 While most Bengalis have abused me for my views about Subhas Chandra Bose, I was very happy to receive an email from some Bengalis  who have supported me. This proves that there are rational Bengalis too.

  Bose was patriotic in his youth, having resigned from the ICS to serve the nation. However, he later on became over ambitious, and when Gandhi ousted him from the Presidentship of Congress he went berserk. He went to Germany and hobnobbed with Hitler and Himmler, those mass murderers  ( Bose's photos with them can be seen on Youtube ), and tried to become a Nazi collaborator, offering to raise an army of captured Indian soldiers to fight along with the Nazis, and when that did not work, he became a collaborator of the Japanese fascists.

 Thus, like Faust, Bose sold his soul to a Mephistopheles. In fact he sold it twice, first to the Nazis, and then to the Japanese fascist imperialists..

Tathagata Gupta <>
7:15 PM (15 hours ago)

 Dear Mr. Katju,
 We saw the debate you had with Arnab Goswami on Times Now, and we had some points to make regarding the show. Before we begin, we shall make our stand clear. We are not going to judge who should apologize to whom or who produced the correct facts or who gave his personal opinion. We are just going to analyze the 42 minutes video that we saw on YouTube this morning.

1) Arnab Goswami constantly interrupted you and asked you to produce facts and not your personal opinion. Now, in history or politics or war, apart from objective facts (like when did India gain independence, who was India’s first prime minister), one cannot say anything conclusive about subjective issues (like why did India gain independence, why did Germany lost the World War II). Answers to subjective questions are prone to personal biases. Contrast this with a scientific fact. In science, when we say that event A is a fact, we can prove or disprove that by reproducing event A. For example, when we say that the sun rises in the east is a fact, we can test it. If tomorrow the sun still rises in the east, the statement is proved or if we see that the sun has risen in any other direction than east, it is disproved. In other words, scientific “facts” are falsifiable. But when you make a subjective historical statement, you cannot verify it. For example, X might argue that India got independence due to Ghandhiji and Netaji, and Y might argue that Britain was forced to give India independence due to World War II and mounting pressures from USA. Now, X or Y cannot prove his/her point in a way a scientific statement can be proved. This a crucial difference between natural science and social science. Theories of social science are not falsifiable.
What this means is this: The “facts” that Arnab Goswami and other panelists there, were producing, are, ultimately, opinions of some people. Arnab Goswami constantly quoted from Attlee’s and Ambedkar’s books. What he quoted from these books were Attlee’s and Ambedkar’s opinions, and not facts. This is a common tactic of mediocre and shallow people. They think if they read some line in a book, it must definitely be true and the book is the “source” of the “fact”. At this point, I should say, you made a tactical mistake, as you did not give name of any book. It is true that to gain knowledge or to analyze history you do not need to remember the book you studied from. But to argue with shallow mediocre people you need to know their practices.

2) The second point begins when we bring the other panelists into the picture. The other three panelists and Arnab Goswami formed a team and took turns in mocking and abusing you. Not even a single one of them showed any interest to listen to your arguments. And as for their arguments, they were hilarious. Anuj Dhar’s theory was that Japan would not attack India because it is the land of Buddha. In the last part of the show, Ardhendu Bose said “Jai Hind” and “Kadam Kadam Badaye jaa” originated from Azad Hind Fauj. Chandra Kumar Bose said Jana Gana Mana was approved as India’s national anthem in 1942 in presence of Netaji. Now all these things had no connection with the topic of the debate and the other three panelists had stopped being logical and were driven by emotion.

In conclusion, I have to say this. In the whole debate, the only person who was being logical and had an open mind was you. Arnab Goswami had to make drama to make the show interesting so that he becomes rich. The Bose duo had to safeguard their Bose legacy. Mr. Dhar had to support the books he had written otherwise people will call him a fool. It was only you, who did not have anything to gain or safeguard. On the contrary, you risked your dignity and honour. So do not feel down or be demoralized. As long as rationality prevails, no honest thought will ever go unheard.

We will be happy if you share this message on Facebook, so that people can distinguish between rational and irrational. By the way, we are a group of Bengali students studying physics in JNU, New Delhi. So all Bengalis are not alike.

                 Have a nice day.
                 Tathagata Gupta
                 Protyush Nandi
                 Anandamay Das Bhowmik

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Often what I say shocks many people, because it is contrary to what has been propagated and perceived for half a century, or more. Often people start accusing me of being a publicity or popularity seeker. But I have never sought publicity or popularity, and I have a low opinion of popularity or publicity seekers.

 But if what I say is true, as I sincerely believe it is, and my conclusions have been reached after half a century or more intense study, discussions and reflection, my views will be accepted at some time, because I give reasons for whatever I say.

Truth has great power. So if what I say is true, even if it is not accepted today, or tomorrow, it will certainly be accepted at some time in the future. I am confident of that

 You can certainly criticize me, and it is quite possible that I may be wrong on some issues, but the criticism must be in polite language

Did I state only opinions and no facts ?

Arnab Goswamy said that I gave only opinions, not facts.

 Well, here are some facts I mentioned :

1. When the Japanese surrendered in 1945 Bose also gave up the fight, instead of starting a guerilla war against the British, as the Chinese did against the Japanese.  This is a fact, not an opinion.

2. Bose hobnobbed with those mass murderers Hitler and Himmler. This is a fact, not an opinion, as the photographs below show

3. Japan had become a fascist imperialist country which started  militant expansionism to capture markets and raw materials, and declared a ' Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere ' which was a euphemism for Japanese domination over East and South Asia, and making it their colony. This is a fact, not an opinion, and it clearly shows that if Japan had defeated the British they would have made India a Japanese colony, not given it independence

4. The Japanese were ruthless fascists who massacred ythe Chinese in Shanghai, Nanking, etc. This is a fact, not an opinion. There is no reason why they would not have done the same in India if Indians resisted their wishes.

   I had stated all these facts in the show on Times Now, and yet Arnab repeatedly said I had not given any facts

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

If the Japanese had defeated the British

In my previous post, i had said that if the Japanese had defeated the British they would not have given us freedom but made India their colony and looted us.

Many people commented asking what proof I have for saying so.
My proof is as follows :
1. When we consider what is likely to be someone's future behavior, we study his past. If he has been a gangster and a looter in the past, it is very likely that he will be the same in the future also.

2. Japan's historical situation at that time was that it had become a fascist imperialist power, like the Nazis in Germany.. Since its industries were growing, it required new markets and new sources of raw material and cheap labour, like any other colonial power. It is for this reason that it conquered Korea, Manchuria, parts of Northern China, Vietnam, etc. and later countries as far south as south as Malaysia, Indonesia and Burma. Surely they did not go there for distributing charity, but to get the raw materials and markets of those countries.

It foIlows that if they had defeated Britain, they would have also turned India into their colony, for getting the huge amount of raw materials and large market of India.

3. It is therefore absurd to think that they would have given freedom to India and made Subhash Chandra Bose an independent head of State. At most they may have made him a head of State for India but as their puppet, the way they appointed the last Chinese Emperor Pu Yi as the puppet Head Of State of Manchuria ( renamed Manchukuo ) and kept India as their colony.

Enemy's enemy is my friend

Many people, including most Bengalis, support Bose for taking help from Japanese, on the reasoning that an enemy's enemy is my friend. Our enemy was our British rulers and since Japan was fighting the British they were our friends. So goes the reasoning.

This reasoning would have been acceptable if there was the slightest possibility that if the Japanese had defeated the British they would have given freedom to India.  But there was no such possibility.
 If the Japanese had defeated the British they would not have given us freedom but would have turned India into their colony and ruthlessly looted us, the way they looted Korea, Manchuria, Vietnam, etc The Japanese were fascists, like the Nazis, and if we had resisted or opposed them in the slightest way, they would have massacred us, as they massacred people in Shanghai, Nanking, etc ( see on Youtube about Shanghai and Nanking massacres. So the theory of enemy's enemy is our friend is totally inapplicable to the context.

Bengali Babu, Jaago. Kab tak jhaanse mein rahoge ?

Monday, 14 September 2015

Demand for Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar

A typical modus operandi of British authorities during British rule was this : when they spotted an Indian who made fiery speeches or wrote fiery articles against British rule they would arrest him on trumped up charges, manufacture evidence and get the accused sentenced to long periods in jail through their biased judges.

 In jail the person would be given harsh treatment, solitary confinement, beatings, etc. This would usually ' soften up '  the detenue, and he would emerge as a tame person, often as a secret British agent after a secret deal with the British authorities

  This happened with many persons---M.N.Roy, Aurobindo Ghose, Veer Savarkar and Bal Gangadhar Tilak

  In 1908 a bomb blast killed a British barrister's wife and daughter in Alipore in Calcutta.. In the Alipore Bomb case Khudiram Bose was hanged, while Prafulla Chaki committed suicide when cornered.

 Aurobindo, who was a fiery revolutionary before this incident, was arrested for planning this incident on trumped up charges, and sentenced to jail. When he came out of jail he was no longer a revolutionary but had become a spiritualist, preaching nonsense like ' Integral Yoga ' ( see Life Divine )

 Bal Gangadhar Tilak, was a fiery person who said ' Swaraj is my birthright and I will have it '. He praised Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki in his newspaper, and for this was tried for sedition and sentenced to 6 years imprisonment. When he came out of jail, he had mellowed, and was no longer the same man. He gave up the demand for Swaraj and became a Home Ruler.

 M.N. Roy was known to be getting money from the British.

 The same happened with Savarkar.

 This revolutionary was arrested in 1910 and sentenced to two life terms in jail, and sent to Andaman Islands, where he was softened up.

 On November 14, 1913, Savarkar sought clemency while lodged in Andamans' Cellular Jail. In his letter, asking for forgiveness, he described himself as a "prodigal son" longing to return to the "parental doors of the government". He wrote that his release from the jail will recast the faith of many Indians in the British rule. Also he said "Moreover, my conversion to the constitutional line would bring back all those misled young men in India and abroad who were once looking up to me as their guide. I am ready to serve the government in any capacity they like, for as my conversion is conscientious so I hope my future conduct would be. By keeping me in jail, nothing can be got in comparison to what would be otherwise."

In 1920, the Indian National Congress and leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Vithalbhai Patel and Bal Gangadhar Tilak demanded his  release. Savarkar signed a statement endorsing his trial, verdict and British law, and renouncing violence, a bargain for freedom.

 On being released in 1921 Savarkar ceased being a revolutionary, and became an ardent champion of Hindu militancy, thus serving the British divide and rule policy. He became President of the Hindu Mahasabha; and during the Second World War advanced the slogan ' Hinduize all politics, and militarize Hindus '. Obviously this was in furtherance of a secret deal he had struck with the British for his release

 And this is the man for whom Bharat Ratna is proposed
 Hari Om

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Japanese agent Subhas Chandra Bose

I hold Bengalis in high respect. They are a highly intelligent, highly cultured people, with great contributions in literature, science, philosophy,social reforms, etc

Unfortunately, many of them have some blind spots. It is diifficult to talk rationally with many Bengalis about some personalities whom they have converted into icons or holy cows, e.g. Tagore or Subhas Chandra Bose. Even the slightest criticism of these persons invokes a torrent or barrage of invectives and vituperations.

I remember when I was a Judge of Allahabad High Court I was sitting with some other Judges, one of whom was a Bengali, at the house of one of my colleagues. I mentioned my view that Subhas Chandra Bose was a Japanese agent. This so infuriated the Bengali Judge that he started shouting and raving almost like a madman, and so I quickly apologized so as not to break up the party.

But why should Bengalis go crazy if someone rationally criticizes Tagore and Bose ? Are they the private property of Bengalis.?

I have already mentioned my view about Tagore on my blog in which I have said that Tagore was objectively a British stooge, who had been built up by the British ( through their agent Yeats ) so as to divert literature from the revolutionary direction Sharad Chandra Chattopadhyaya was taking it ( see his Pather Dabi ) towards harmless and nonsensical spiritualism and mysticism ( see Gitanjali, Agni Beena Bajao Tumi, etc ) so as not to harm British interests.

I had also called Bose objectively a Japanese agent, in one of my blogs.

Today I read in the newspapers that Mamata Banerjee has decided to throw open the state government's files on ' Netaji '.

In my opinion this is just a diversionary populist measure to divert attention from the real problems of Bengalis ( and other Indians ) of poverty, unemployment, healthcare, price rise, malnourishment, etc.
Moreover, it is high time for Bengalis ( and other Indians ) to make a rational assessment of this ' national icon ' ( as Mamata described him ).

In Germany, Bose not only hobnobbed with Hitler but even with Himmler, two of the most evil men in history, ( their photographs can be seen on the internet ) responsible for sending millions to gas chambers. He wanted to organize the Indian soldiers captured by the Germans, to fight along with the Nazis. But when Hitler showed no interest, Bose went to Japan and raised his ragtag 'Azad Hind Fauj ' to fight with Japanese support against the British army.

In my opinion Bose was a highly ambitious person, and he became a Japanese agent because neither Gandhi nor Hitler had given him any ' bhaav ', so he thought that the only alternative left was to ally with Japan.
The Japanese fascists used Bose in their fight against the British, but the moment his utility was over they would probably have bumped him off.

Does anybody think that the Japanese fascist imperialists would have given freedom to India if they had defeated the British ? No, they would have made India their colony ( as they made Korea, Manchuria and other parts of China, Vietnam,etc ) and looted us. If we resisted, the Japanese would assuredly have massacred our people, as they did to the people of Shanghai, Nanking, etc ( see on Youtube visual accounts of these massacres ).

If Bose was a great freedom fighter, why did he give up the fight against the British the moment the Japanese surrendered ? He should have carried on a guerilla war against the British, the way the Chinese Eighth Route Army fought against the Japanese. In guerilla war you fight with the weapons of the enemy, by snatching them from him. The fact that he did not do so shows that there was nothing in the man. First he tried to become an agent of the Nazis, but they rebuffed him. Then he became an agent of the Japanese, who accepted him as their loyal running dog.

Some people support Bose's alliance with the Japanese by saying that an enemy's enemy is one's friend. In the real, practical, world, this maxim cannot be of universal application. Moreover, one can understand alliance with Japan if there was a possibility that such an alliance could have given us real freedom. But there was no such possibilty. Even if the Japanese, with I.N.A. support had defeated the British, they would never have given us freedom, but converted India into their colony. The very nature of the then fascism prevailing in Japan makes this evident.

My assessment of Bose is that he was an over ambitious, confused person, who to satisfy his ambition and ego was prepared even to ally with the devil, like a Faust. It is high time Bengalis ( and others ) realize this

Friday, 11 September 2015

Beef ban in J&K

I am totally against ban on beef, for the following reasons :

1. It is entirely my business what I eat, and no one else's. I am not compelling others to eat beef, so why should they prevent me ? I have eaten beef on some occasions, and may again eat it if the occasion arises ( though ordinarily I do not eat it out of respect for my wife and other relatives who are conservative ).. 

2. I see nothing wrong in eating beef. A cow is only an animal, like a horse. To call it holy and our mother is silly. How can an animal be a mother of a human being ? To those who say that a cow is a mother because she gives us milk like a mother I ask : are goats, buffaloes, yaks, camels etc also your mothers ? Many people drink their milk too

3. Most people of the world eat beef---Americans, Europeans, Africans, Chinese, Arabs, Australians, Japanese etc. Are they all sinners and we Hindus alone saints ?

4. Beef is a source of cheap protein for people in Goa, Kerala and many North Eastern states of India, many of whose people are are Christians, e.g. Nagaland, Mizoram, etc Beef is openly sold there. If an all India ban is made, as proposed by some political leaders,many of these states will surely secede from India. Would that be desirable ?

So I am totally against the ban order imposed by some archaic law sought to be enforced by the J&K High Court

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Hindi is an artificial language

The language of the common man in large parts of India is Hindustani or khariboli, not Hindi.
There is a difference between the two. For example, in Hindustani we say ' udhar dekhiye '. On the other hand,In Hindi it is said ; udhar avalokan keejiye '.

Hindi was an artificial language created by certain bigots who wanted to propagate the idea that Hindi was the language of Hindus, and Urdu of Muslims. This was part of the British policy of divide and rule. In fact Urdu was the common language of all educated persons, whether Hindu, Muslim or Sikh, in large parts of India upto 1947 ( see my article 'What is Urdu ' on my blog ). Thus, while Hindustani was, and still is, the language of the common man, Urdu was the language of the educated class in large parts of India. I have explained in my article ' What is Urdu ' that Urdu is a combination of two languages, Hindustani, which was the common man's language in urban India ( in rural areas there were dialects like Awadhi, Brijbhasha, Bjojpuri, Maghai, Maithili, mewari, marwari, etc ), and Persian which was the language of the aristocrats or elite in India for several centuries. The foundation of Urdu is Hindustani, on which a layer of Persian was placed to make it sophisticated and elegant. This gives Urdu great power and elegance, and Urdu poetry, in expressing the voice of the human heart, is perhaps the greatest poetry in the world.

After 1947 a massive propaganda was launched by certain fanatics that Urdu was a foreign language, and a language of Muslims alone. Persian words which had come into common usage in Hindustani were sought to be hatefully and systematically replaced by Sanskrit words which were not in common use. For example, 'zila' was replaced by 'janapad '.

When I was a judge in Allahabad High Court, a lawyer who argues only in Hindi, filed a petition before me titled 'Pratibhu Avedan Patra '. I asked him what the word ' pratibhu' meant. He said it meant bail. I then told him that he should have used the word bail or zamaanat, which everybody understands in most parts of India, instead of ' pratibhu ' which no one understands.

Once in Allahabad I was taking a walk in the Cantonment area and saw a board in which it was written ' Pravaran Kendra ' I could not understand what it meant. Looking lower down I saw the words ' Recruitment Centre '. Surely the better words would have been ' Bharti daftar ' which everybody could understand, instead of ' pravaran kendra ' which nobody would understand.

It is fallacious to believe that a language becomes weaker if foreign words enter into it, in fact it becomes stronger. For example, the English language became stronger and was enriched by foreign words entering into it, e.g. from French, German, Arabic, Hindustani, etc

Once at Allahabad I offered a certain fare to a rickshawall, and he said my offer was 'wajib; i.e. appropriate. Now this word 'wajib' is pure Persian, but it had come into common usage in Hindustani, as even a rickshawalla was using it.

So it is silly to try to remove Persian and Arabic words which had come into common vogue in Hindustani, and in fact this created an artificial language Hindi, which is sometimes difficult for the common man to understand. Often in Courts it was difficult to understand the Hindi used in Government notifications.

This policy of spitefully trying to remove Persian and Arabic words from Hindustani did great harm to Urdu, and almost amounted to genocide on a great language. Great injustice has been done in our country to Urdu, which is in fact a shining gem in the treasury of Indian culture. My attempt has been to restore its old glory.

I may mention here that while Arabic and Persian are foreign languages ( though I have great respect for them too, as I have great respect for all languages ), Urdu is an indigenous Indian language. It is totally false to call it a foreign language, and bracket it with Arabic and Persian. Urdu is the grand daughter of Sanskrit, not of Persian and Arabic, and over 70% of its words are from Sanskrit. It is a totally secular language, not a language of Muslims alone, as the bigots sought to depict it.

This bigoted policy also did harm to Sanskrit, as it was depicted as an oppressor, when in fact.Sanskrit was a language of free thinkers who questioned everything ( see my article ' Sanskrit as a language of Science ' on my blog ). Some people think that Sanskrit was only a language of chanting mantras in temples or Hindu religious ceremonies. In fact that was only 5% of Sanskrit literature. 95% of it has nothing to do with religion, and deals with philosophy, science, art, literature, grammar, etc.

Modern Hindi Literature

Today, 10th September 2015, is the inaugural of the 3 day World Hindi Conference in Delhi.
 This reminds me of an incident. I had been appointed a Judge of the Allahabad High Court in 1991, and the incident happened a few months thereafter.

 My good friend Neelkant, is a Hindi writer and critic of Allahabad ( my native town ). One day he came to meet me at my residence. He had written a book on Rahul Sanskritayan etc, and he wanted me to come as Chief Guest at a function at the Hindustani Academy, Allahabad for its release. I normally avoided going to functions as long as I was a sitting Judge, but since Neelkant is such a fine and loveable person I agreed.

 When I reached the venue there was a huge crowd of about 200 persons or more, ( the capacity of Hindustani Academy hall ) assembled in the audience, many of them literary figures who regarded themselves great writers.. Several speakers spoke, praising modern Hindi literature,and then came my turn.

 I got up and said that I was sorry but I could not agree with most of the speakers who had spoken before me. While Sur, Tulsi, Kabir, etc were no doubt great, modern Hindi literature, with a few rare exceptions like Premchand,  was ' daridra ' and ' ghatiya ' ( i.e. of a low level ) it has no place in world literature, etc. I also said that modern Hindi poetry had no ' dum ' in it, and was no match to Urdu poetry..

 At first the audience was stunned, but gradually as I was speaking an uproar began, which soon reached a crescendo. People in the audience started shouting '' Aise anpadh admi ko kisne judge bana diya '' ( who appointed such an illiterate person as a judge ), '' aap yahan kyon aaye ? '' ( why did you come here ? ), etc.

 I coolly replied that I had come because I had been invited by Neelkant whose book was being released, but no one was prepared to listen to me, and a barrage of invectives and vituperations were soon hurled on me.

 When this crossed the limits of my endurance I said '' You are a bunch of goondas '' and left the hall in a huff.

 Next day many newspapers published accounts of this incident, including my statement that the crowd consisted of a bunch of goondas. The result was, as Neelkant later told me, that there was a huge demand for Neelkant's book, and the first print was soon sold out, and there was a demand for a second edition.

 A few days later Neelkant came to my house and apologized profusely for the misbehaviour of the crowd. I told him not to worry. He should now write another book on modern Hindi literature, and invite me again for the release, where I would again lambast modern Hindi literature, and this would ensure another huge sale of his book !

Gulon mein rang bhare

" Gulon mein rang bhare baad-e-naubahaar chale
Chale bhi ao ki gulshan ka kaarobar chale "
Faiz Ahmed Faiz

 What does this sher mean ? Let me explain.

Urdu poetry often has an outer, superficial meaning, and an inner real meaning. Urdu poets usually do not say things in a direct way but in a round about way, by hints, allusions and suggestions. So their poetry has often an outer literal, but superficial meaning, and an inner real meaning, which can be gathered only by using your head, and trying to figure out what the poet is trying to really convey.
. This often makes their poetry difficult to understand, and susceptible to many meanings. In fact sometimes a reader can give it a meaning which the poet could not have even conceived of.
So w
 The outer, superficial meaning of this sher is :

" Among the flowers, a morning breeze of the new spring full of colours is blowing
Come forward, so that the work of the garden can be done "

 However, the inner real meaning is :

" The objective situation in the country is ripe
Come forward patriots, the country needs you "
 The word ' gulshan' literally means a garden, but here it really means the country.

Gul means a flower, gulon is the plural. Baad means the morning breeze. Naubahar means the new spring. Gulshan meams garden. Kaarobar means work.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Meaning of Amir Minai's sher

I think all of you missed the import of the sher I quoted in my previous post.
 Urdu poets usually do not say things in a direct way but in a round about way, by hints, allusions and suggestions. So their poetry has often an outer literal, but superficial meaning, and an inner real meaning, which can be gathered only by using your head, and trying to figure out what the poet is trying to really convey.
. This often makes their poetry difficult to understand, and susceptible to many meanings. In fact sometimes a reader can give it a meaning which the poet could not have even conceived of.
 So what meaning have I given to the sher of Amir Minai ?
 ' Roz-e-mahshar ' means Judgment Day ( in which both Christians and Muslims believe ). On that day all dead people have to appear before God ( or Christ, in Christian belief ) and account for their deeds on earth, and receive reward or punishment, according to what they did.
' Qareeb ' means near, ' kushton ' means those who have been killed
So my interpretation of the sher is this :
The day of reckoning is at hand in India , when those who oppressed the Indian people will have to render accounts for their misdeeds, and receive appropriate punishment from the people

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Meat ban in Mumbai

There is a controversy regarding banning of sale of meat for 8 days in Bhayander during the Jain Paryushan fasting period

In this connection my article posted on my blog some time back may be of some interest

Closing Slaughterhouse on Jain Paryushan festival

I have sometimes been asked which was the most difficult case I found to decide, and my answer usually is: Hinsa Virodhak Sangh vs. Mirzapur Moti Kuresh Jamaat, 2008.

Usually I did not have difficulty in deciding cases, because having spent 40 years in the legal world, 20 years as a lawyer and 20 years as a Judge, I am broadly conversant with legal principles. However, in this case I found it very difficult to make up my mind.

The Senior Judge on the bench, Justice H.K. Sema, had asked me to write the judgment after we had heard arguments and reserved the judgment, but for several weeks I just could not decide what view to take.

The facts of the case were that the Ahmedabad Municipality in Gujarat had for several years passed resolutions for closing down the Municipal slaughterhouse during the 9 days Jain Paryushan festival. Since goats, lamb and other animals could legally be slaughtered only in the Municipal slaughterhouse (for sanitation, hygiene, etc) the result was that for 9 days in a year people of Ahmedabad had to be vegetarians.

The butchers association of Ahmedabad challenged this resolution before the High Court on the ground that it violated their fundamental right of freedom of trade and business guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution. The residents of Ahmedabad pleaded that this resolution compelled them to become vegetarians for 9 days in a year, and this violated their right of privacy which had been held to be part of Article 21 in several decisions of the Supreme Court.

Jains are a community who follow the teachings of Lord Mahavir and other ‘Tirthankaras’. They believe in Ahimsa or non-violence, and are strict vegetarians.

The Paryushan festival is perhaps the most important one for Jains. During the 9 days period of the festival Jains do fasting and other spiritual acts e.g. recitation of their scriptures.

There is a large Jain community in Western India e.g. Gujarat, Rajasthan, Western Madhya Pradesh, Delhi etc. For several years the Ahmedabad Municipality had closed its slaughterhouse during Paryushan, and this was now challenged. The High Court allowed the writ petition, and the matter came up on appeal before us in the Supreme Court.

The petitioners before the High Court (respondents before us) alleged that the impugned resolutions of the Ahmedabad Municipality closing down the Municipal slaughterhouse during Paryushan was an unreasonable restriction on the rights of the butchers of Ahmedabad (the writ petitioners) to carry on trade and business in livestock, mutton etc. It was also a violation of the right of non vegetarians to eat meat. What one eats is part of one’s right to privacy, which by judicial interpretation has been included in Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

As mentioned above, for several weeks after reserving judgment in the case I could not make up my mind what view to take. There was certainly a case in support of the contentions of the writ petitioners (the butchers and non-vegetarian section of society), which had been upheld by the High Court. After all, it is one’s personal business what one eats. Why should a non-vegetarian be compelled to become a vegetarian, even if for 9 days? Nobody was compelling the Jains or other vegetarians to become non-vegetarians. Why then should it be vice versa?

This argument at first appealed to my mind. I am a strong votary for freedom, and the impugned resolution seemed to violate the rights of the butchers as well as non-vegetarians.

However, ultimately I decided to uphold the validity of the resolution and reverse the judgment of the High Court.

What persuaded me to do so were these factors:

(1) The restriction was only for a short period of 9 days. Had it been for a longer period, say, for several months, I would certainly have held it to be violative of Articles 19 (1) (g) and 21 of the Constitution.

(2) There is a large Jain community in Western India, including Ahmedabad, and in a country like India with such tremendous diversity of religions, castes, languages, ethnic groups, etc we must respect the feelings of all communities.

(3) The restriction was not a new one, but had been imposed every year for several decades. Reference was made in the judgment to Emperor Akbar and his respect for the Jains.

Taking all these considerations cumulatively we upheld the restriction as being a reasonable one. We referred to the Constitution Bench decision of the Supreme Court in State of Madras vs. V.G. Row, 1952 in which the broad tests for determining reasonableness were indicated. One of the tests laid down therein was whether the restriction was excessive. In the present case we noted that the closure of the slaughterhouse was only for a short duration of 9 days in a year, and hence it was not excessive. We also referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in Government of Andhra Pradesh vs. P. Laxmi Devi, 2008 in which it was held that the court should exercise judicial restraint while judging the constitutional validity of statutes, and the same principle would apply while adjudicating the constitutional validity of delegated legislation.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Not cast your vote but vote your caste in Bihar

In U.P. Bihar and many other states, voting is ordinarily on caste and religious basis, unless there is a wave. There was a Modi wave in the May 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but that has dissipated entirely, as people have seen through the 'vikas' slogan, and found it was only a jumla. So now voting will be on the traditional basis of caste and religion. The upper castes will broadly vote for BJP in Bihar, but total upper castes i.e. Brahmins, Rajputs, Bhumihars, and Banias are not more than 20%. Paswan will get the NDA 7-8% SC votes ( the entire SC community in Bihar is not with Paswan, as they are with Mayavati in U.P. ). ). That makes about 28% votes for the NDA. On the other hand the Yadavs ( about 10% of Bihar population ) and Kurmis ( about 9%) and many other OBCs will vote for the Grand Alliance. Muslims ( 17% of Bihar population ) will solidly vote for the Alliance, as they feel insecure after ghar wapasi, Muzaffarnagar and Ballabhgarh incidents. That itself makes it 36% or more votes for the Grand Alliance, a clearly winning combination. The packages and speeches by Modi, Nitish , Lalu, Sonia and others will matter little. 90 or 95% Biharis will not cast their vote but vote their caste
Hari Om
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Saturday, 5 September 2015

Whose birthday should be declared Teachers Day ?

 Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrisnan (1886-1975 ) or Dr. Debi Prosad Chattopadhyaya ( 1918-1993 )
 This post, like several other earlier posts, will also result in a lot of flak, censure  and brickbats for me , but I have never bothered about that.

I am not a publicity or popularity seeker, in fact I have a poor opinion of publicity or popularity seekers. I have often said things which I knew would make me, at least for some time, very unpopular..

 So let me come directly to what I have to say.

 Today is teacher's day, and it is celebrated every year on the birthday of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, former President of India.

 Dr. Radhakrishnan is acclaimed as a great Indian philosopher and thinker, but that is really a myth.To my mind Radhakrishnan was a very superficial thinker, and the really great seminal thinker in philosophy in modern times was Dr. Debi Prosad Chattopadhyaya,( who was born in 1918, and is not to be confused with another Debi Prosad Chattopadhyaya born in 1938 who was also in the field of philosophy ).

 Dr. Radhakrishnan was a staunch advocate of Advait Vedant, which I regard as a false philosophy ( see his book "Indian Philosophy ")

 Vedant proclaims that the whole world is in the ultimate analysis Maya ( i.e. illusion ), and the only reality is Brahman

 The falsity in this philosophy is evident. If everything is Maya, or an illusion, then hunger and thirst are also illusions. The Vedantis should therefore ignore hunger and thirst, treating them as Maya, and should not eat and drink. The fact that they eat and drink shows they are not practising what they preach. In fact the Mimansak Kumaril Bhat levied this charge against them.

 Radhakrishnan was therefore propagating a false philosophy.

 The true Indian philosophy is in the first two systems of our 6 classical systems ( shatdarshanas ), i.e. Nyaya and Vaisheshik ( see in this connection my articles on Indian Philosophy on my blog )

 The Nyaya system of philosophy says that nothing is acceptable, unless it is in accordance with reason and experience, which is precisely the scientific approach.

The Nyaya philosophy is atheistic.There are 16 categories in the Nyaya system, and god is not one of them.

 Nyaya philosophy is (1) realistic, as it regards the world as real and (2) pluralistic, as it regards several separate entities in the world as real, e.g. humans, animals. tables, chairs , trees, etc. In these two respects Nyaya differs from Vedant, which is monistic ( i.e. it regards only one real thing in the world called brahman ) and regards the world and all things in it as unreal ( maya ).

Vaisheshik is the physics of ancient times, presenting a rudimentary, primitive, atomic theory ( parmanu theory ). Physics is part of science, and so at one time Vaisheshik was treated as part of Nyaya, but since physics is the most fundamental of all sciences, it was later separated from science generally ( i.e. the Nyaya system ) and made a separate philosophy.

 D.P. Chattopadhyaya'  book " What is Living and what is dead in Indian Philosophy " is in my opinion the best book on Indian philosophy, and is a seminal work, dealing in detail with Nyaya philodsophy It is far superior to Radhakrishnan's book on Indian Philosophy, which I regard as a totally superficial work..

 Teachers Day should be on the birthday of D.P. Chattopadhyaya, not of Radhakrishnan